Zulu cricketers (n=14) and students (n=17) as controls were genotyped (blood spots) for angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), gene by PCR amplification followed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and grip strength (kg), knee extension and flexion (Nm/kg) were measured, systolic tension time (STT) and metabolic rates (MR) were calculated. After ANOVA, the association between these parameters and I/D gene polymorphism was probed using Chi2 maximum likelihood test and Fisher’s exact test. ACE genotyping for the whole group displayed a complete absence of II genotype, 67.7% DD and 32.3% ID genotypes. The frequency of D allele was 83.8% and I allele 16.2%. In cricketers DD and ID genotypes were 50% each compared to controls-83% DD and 17% ID. No differences in grip strength and quadriceps/hamstring muscle strength between the groups were observed, but for the whole cohort 86% D allele frequency was associated with higher (greater than 43.3 kg) grip strength (p<0.037). In cricketers CRP (less than 3.0 mmol/l) was associated with 79% D allele frequency. SBP and DBP were significantly lower by 3.2 and 4.25 mmHg, whereas increased values of STT by 5.5%, and MR by 10.3% were found. Although, the number of participants in this study is small, it is concluded that in cricketers no over presentation of DD or ID genotypes was observed indicating a more balanced display of power and endurance required for the game.
Key words: Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) genotype, polymorphism, blood pressure,body mass index (BMI), lean body mass (LBM), Fat mass, hand grip, quadriceps and hamstring muscle strength, Zulu cricketers.
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